Gus Schmelz

  • Card series: Beginnings: 1880's
  • City: Cincinnati
  • Team: Red Stockings (AA)
  • League: American Association

Gustavus Heinrich Schmelz (1850-1925) managed minor and major league teams for 15 years, was popular with his players and had modest success at both levels. He was denied a pennant as second-place was the highest any team achieved under his direction. Gus led his hometown Columbus Buckeyes in the American Association in 1884 where he witnessed two of his staff hurl no-hitters within a week. Interspersed with minor league assignments, Gus managed Cincinnati’s Red Stockings for three seasons, returned to Columbus (then the Solons), and also had three NL teams: the St Louis Maroons, Cleveland Spiders and Washington Senators. Gus managed the Atlanta franchise of the newly formed Southern League in 1885 and witnessed the tragic death of one of his players. A violent collision at first base caused a ruptured liver for Lewis Henke. Schmelz had the sad duty of conducting the funeral for his strapping first-sacker who was the runner when injured on Aug 14. The Atlanta Constitution noted Henke was “…perhaps the most popular player in the Southern League.”

  • Schmelz compiled a major league record of 624 wins against 703 losses (.470)

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